Customs official denies involvement with drug syndicates
Deputy Customs Collector Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang refuted the allegations on Tuesday that she was used by drug syndicates to smuggle P6.8 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) into the country.
Earlier, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said he suspects that drug syndicates may be responsible for the demolition job against him. He also said Mangaoang, his accuser, may have been used by the drug syndicates to divert attention from the issue of smuggled illegal drugs.
Mangaoang, dismissed Lapeña’s claims, saying that it was a “diversionary tactic” by the Lapeña camp.
“Ito na naman. This is again a diversionary tactic by them para mapunta sa ibang issue, (Here we go again. This is again a diversionary tactic to shift the attention to another issue),” she told ANC’s Top Story in an interview.
“Definitely, I am not involved with those drug syndicates. I do not know who they are and I have nothing to do with them. If he (Lapeña) is saying that I am being used definitely I am not being used. I am not allowing myself to be used by them,” she added.
Mangaoang also reiterated that her task as a customs collector is to follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to curb the entry of illegal drugs into the country.
“It is my duty as a customs collector to tell the truth about what I know (and) that is eradicating drugs in the country. It is the priority of our President. I am just implementing this order that we should prevent the smuggling of drugs,” she said.
Mangaoang previously claimed that Lapeña was involved in the cover-up of the smuggled illegal drugs that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC). She questioned Lapeña’s failure to issue alert orders on the suspicious shipments. /ee
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